Interested in Planar type speakers

Hi,
I’ve been interested in Planar type speakers.
I’ve researched two; Martin Logan and Magnepan. Two different theories of operation and design.
I’ve heard the ML s years ago; they sounded VERY good. (But I’ve read, they have reliability issues as of late) I know Best Buy stores (at times) stock them in the Magnolia section.
The Magnepans are quite difficult to audition here in South Florida; without driving 200 miles. I was interested in the MMGi model.
The ML s; I was interested in the ESL model.
Could I get your opinions and/or preferences on both?

My living/listening room is: 14’x15’×8’
I will be using the planars exclusively for stereo listening.

My audio and power equipment:

Simaudio Moon 260DT CD transport.
Schiit Gungnir Multibit DAC.
Tortuga LDR300 Preamp.
Class D Audio SDS470C amp. 300wpc.

I currently use JBL Studio 230 bookshelf speakers on 24" stands. I feel the JBL speakers are decent speakers; but they hold-back so much potential in midrange and highs, imaging and soundstage.

Any input would be very much appreciated.

Thank you for your time and advice,

Sincerely,

RTDoherty

I forgot to list my power source for the audio equipment:
PS Audio DirectStream Power Plant 12
( EXCELLENT!)

Opinions always vary, but I’m not a huge fan of ML. The lower end models are underwhelming, and the high end ones are overpriced and shouty. I highly recommend checking out the Maggies. Imaging and tonality will be a lot better, and they won’t create such a head in the vice scenario. You will however NEED a subwoofer with them. Bass response with the Maggies is present, but you’re missing a lot.

Thank you J, for the advise and quick response!
I’ll check again, for a Magnepan dealer in or near Palm Beach County, FL

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Once you’v heard the Maggie’s you’ll be sold. They have a great presentation for vocals. A sub makes them whole.

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Thanks watchdog!
There’s three high-end stores n the whole State of Florida that sell Magnepans, it might be tough to audition them.
It would be nice if I could bring them home in a van, myself.
I could order them online; but what shape will they be in, by the time they get delivered? That worries me.
Maybe, I’ll just look at upgrading to a better conventional type speaker.
It just surprised me; only three dealers sell them here.
Maybe the demand just isn’t there.

Thanks for the input!

I love the sound of the Maggies I’ve heard (with a sub), but I never cared for the sound of ML electro’s, they sounded thin and dry to me. Interestingly, I DO have a pair of Martin Logan 35XT’s as my mains, but these are conventional speakers with a marvelous AMT tweeter. One of the best sounding speakers I auditioned (and bought).

Hi Stone,
I’ve read some good reviews of the Martin Logan bookshelf/stand speakers.

I was really interested in getting some planars; but I’m not going drive a 1/2 day in Florida traffic to hear them.
They do have a home trial/ money back type of offer on the MMGi’s; I might try it;
But the shipping is what worries me.
Thanks for the reply!
Have a nice evening!

There’s a dealer in Deerfield Beach less than an hour from Palm Beach.

https://audiocenterinc.com/

Hi dawkins,
I tried contacting that dealer a day or two ago; I haven’t heard anything back yet.
Deerfield might be within an hour driving “on paper”. If I can get down there early Saturday it would be ideal; the traffic isn’t extremely bad, until later in the day.
I need to get in touch with someone there; to make sure they have some Maggie’s to listen to.
I’ll try to contact them again in the morning.
Thanks for the reply!
Have a good evening!

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I’ve read of some Magnepan owners getting upgrades done from Magnestand.

I visited his website; very interesting, there seems to be quite a few good reviews of his upgrades.
Something to look into; if I finally get my hands on MMGi, 12 or 1.6.
I think MMGi or 12 would be the right fit for my listening/living room.

Best of luck. This reminds me of when I got tired of driving around the entire state of FL to audition the specific pairs I wanted. In the end I found nirvana after several orders and shipping back and forth.
If you find yourself in the Orlando area just let me know, you can demo any my Dynaudios, KEF, SVS or Wharfedale’s, I know they’re not planars. No, I don’t sell speakers or gear, I just know how difficult it can be auditioning in our state.

Hi quint,
I’ll give you a shout if I get up in that area.
Have a good night!

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If you are thinking mmg. Get the LRS instead. I heard them at axpona. Unbelievable bargain.

FWIW. I have heard the mmg and LRS. LRS is cleaner w a little better bass. The soundstage at axpona w them was fantastic.

Though LRS is not a dealer stocked item, factory direct only.

Thanks timm and dawkins,

I’m going to see if I can get in touch with the Deerfield Magnepan dealer this morning.
See if he has the MMGi or maybe by chance, the LRS.

I’ll let you all know the outcome.

Thanks for the great input, etc…

Have a nice weekend,

RT

I think your room may be a problem for any dipoles. 14x15x8 is a difficult dimension regardless but the dipoles won’t have enough space to breathe into the space. In my opinion. I’ve never heard either speaker but from what I’ve read about them it may be an issue if hoping to get the best from them.

Hi Brett,
Yeah, I’ve been reading that the planars need to be at least three feet from any wall.
I called a dealer in Deerfield, FL to see if it was possible to listen to a pair of MMGi’s.
They didn’t have any smaller planars to hear.
I most likely will start considering upgrading to a better pair of conventional speakers. That “three feet” rule is a deal breaker for me.

Thanks for the input!

Hey @RTDoherty. I trusted the advice of @timm and made the leap to Maggie’s 20.7s. I mention this in that I can easily slide and move these large Maggie’s into a prime listening spot away from the wall and then slide them back into the corners of the room when I am not listening to them. I know the smaller Maggie’s that @timm is recommending can easily be moved around. I wish I would have tried Maggie’s 10 years ago.

I don’t really feel the side walls need 3 feet. But you do need some space behind them. Remember - they are only an inch thick. Most dealers won’t have the mmg or LRS - they are more or less factory direct with a return policy if you don’t like them… 60 day I believe. You should go listen to a bigger pair to get the feel for them anyway.

Let me just add. I heard the LRS in a hotel room. So the room was not that large. The smaller planers in my opinion, do better in a slightly smaller room as the room accentuates bass. You put them in too large a room - and they will need sub help.

The smaller ones have a very similar sound as the larger ones. As the panel gets bigger - so does the bass and effortlessness in which they play.

Couple of questions if you are interested- what would you be driving them with - I may have missed that - and what kind of music do you listen to?

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